Girardi led the Yankees back from a two-game American League Division Series hole against the Cleveland Indians, and he is now ready to pull off another upset against the Astros.
The choice of Keuchel to start Game 1 was an easy one, especially after the Astros needed Verlander for 40 pitches in relief in their decisive Game 4 win at Boston on Monday. "And then he was, 'Yes, we did.' I remember I saw my phone and MLB At Bat said, 'OK, Astros acquire Justin Verlander.' And I couldn't believe it", Altuve said. "So I have all the confidence in the world". He's 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the postseason. He bounced back this year despite neck issues, posting a 14-5 record with a 2.90 ERA to help the Astros run away with the AL West title. That made him 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in four postseason appearances with three starts.
Dallas Keuchel will start Game 1 of the ALCS Friday night, and Altuve couldn't have been more pleased. "We hand him the ball and the entire room knows we have a chance to win". Correa hit.500 against the Yankees with two home runs and 10 RBIs in seven regular-season games this season.
"His stuff was great the other day, he's had some really big starts, his last two starts have been outstanding", manager Joe Girardi said. "I was so excited and I was like, 'OK, here we go.' It's not a secret that we had a good team before him, before trading for him, but after we did that it's like, 'OK, now we go, now we got everything we need.' And I was really happy we got him".
One key stat to know: There's no effective way to pitch Altuve, which is why he rates as the AL MVP frontrunner.
These pitchers will face two of the best hitters in the majors in Houston's Jose Altuve and NY rookie Aaron Judge. Four of those strikeouts Wednesday night belonged to Judge, who hit just.050 with 16 strikeouts in 20 at-bats in the series. The Yankees' full lineup looks like this: Brett Gardner LF, Aaron Judge RF, Gary Sanchez C, Didi Gregorius SS, Starlin Castro 2B, Aaron Hicks CF, Greg Bird 1B, Holliday, Todd Frazier 3B. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".
Right-hander Luis Severino will start Saturday's Game 2 in Houston.
Much of the reason that NY was able to let go of McCann was another young slugger, 24-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez (33 homers this season, 53 in 177 career games).